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Your Job Is Stupid And You Are Wasting Your Life (DO THIS INSTEAD)
We no longer live in a world where making a living on being just “good” at something is a viable strategy.
The world is very different than it was when this idea was devised and propagated.
This belief, most often manifested in the “go to college, get a degree, get a job, x y z yada yada” mantra, has been losing steams for at least a decade, and is becoming less and less viable every year.
Today, with little exception, this methodology at best forces you in to a field you don’t really like but can’t escape due to sunk costs (both financial and temporal), and, at worst, gets you all the debt without even a reasonably paying job.
I’m sure it was a good idea 50 years ago when jobs required far less mental energy, and there was far less competition for them, and you came home to a loving family, and a big house you owned, and you paid few taxes, and you had religious community and community with your neighbors, and deep meaningful connections with many causes greater than yourself, etc.
But now — where you and your partner, if you even have one, work 40 hours plus a week in a highly intellectually demanding job, come home exhausted to only an apartment and a dog and a bunch of chores, where the most meaningful thing you can muster from life is shitposting on reddit for your political causes that not even you believe will actually work, with all your friends are basically doing the same — it is infinitely less practical.
Your job is no longer a small part of your life that provides finances for the things you actually want to do.
Your job now is your life and most of your time away from it will be spent recovering so you can return to it.
If it doesn’t energize, fulfill, and financially-free you then you will live in a miserable and toxic cycle full of stress, boredom, resentment, and meaninglessness.
Do you feel you are making the amount of impact in your life that you want to be making?
Do you feel you are fully utilizing your potential, a synergy of many if not most of your unique talents?
Do you feel that your pay reflects the amount of energy you are putting in to your work?
Do you feel energized by your work, able to come home to do more things that energize and satisfy you?
If you answered yes to these, you are one lucky duck (and also an outlier who probably won’t get much value from continuing to read this).
If you’re like most young adults today however: most if not all of these will come back with a resounding and conclusive “No”.
If you want to live a life worth living in the 21st century: You have to work on something you’re exceptional at and get energy from doing.
This is the only way to get lived a fulfilled and impactful live, while making an income that can financially free you.
The stories you tell yourself of “well I don’t have the money” or “I need to be pragmatic” or “that’s just crazy idealism”are all bullshit excuses that serve only to shield you from your own fear of failure and social rejection.
Money? The people in the top 5% of any given domain make all the money. Why the hell are you wasting your time working your ass off to end up in the 50th percentile making jack?
Pragmatic? Do you really consider wasting all your energy as a wage-slave on something you are mediocre at while most of your unique talents and value lie unactualized so you can live paycheck to paycheck as “pragmatic”?
Crazy Idealism? Do you know who else was called a “crazy idealist” their whole lives? Every single person who is off changing the world, living fulfilled lives in complete financial freedom. Calling people “dreamers” and “idealists” is just what people who have given up on themselves say to make sure no one else shows them up.
Failure? The only way that you will be a failure is if you waste your entire life being “pragmatic”, never achieve the level of social utility you were built for, never take the risks that would actually make your life fulfilling, and let the great gifts you’ve been given decay in to irrelevancy.
I could go on, but you already know that you only pretend to believe these things because they are the social default and are convenient to your immediate comfort.
Well I’m here to tell you that you only have one life and you’re flushing it down the drain. And, perhaps more importantly, you’re flushing down the drain the lives of all the people who need the service you were born to provide.
You have a unique purpose in this world. A problem only you can solve. And you wasting away in some job you hate ensures that problem will never get solved.
The dozens, hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of people who need what only you can offer will have worse lives because you gave in to your fear.
So if you won’t do it for you, then do it for all the people that are counting on you.
This doesn’t mean just up and quit your job to foolishly pursue some vague vision. I am no proponent of carelessness or inefficiency.
But it does mean you need to take this thing seriously. And to cut it out with all the mental gymnastics sedating your grand vision in to passivity.
So, what can you do? Well that’s complicated. And far more than I can go in to in this post alone. But here is a brief outline.
If you want to fully actualize your potential and live a fulfilled and meaningful life you’ll need to:
Get clarity of your temperament. We all have unique gifts (strengths) and trade offs (weaknesses) that accompany them. Stop trying to be good at your weaknesses and start maximizing their accompanying strengths;.Learn your strengths and how to leverage them. Learn how to redirect most of your weaknesses as strengths. Take as many credible personality assessments you can find (ex: MBTI, big5, strengths finder, etc) , and truly understand what your results mean and how to use them. If you dont want to spend years becoming an expert in psychometrics, consult someone who is to help you. At worst journal a lot and ask everyone around you what they see as your strengths and weaknesses and go from there.
Get clarity of vision. If you could do anything in the world, and knew you would succeed, and make all the money you need, what would it be? How could you use your unique temperament to achieve this? Spend an inordinate amount of time and detail crafting this. We all need an aim. A mission. Nailing this will solve your feelings of aimlessness and your habit of wasting all your energy seeking frivolous stimulation because you’re “bored”.
Reverse engineer your life from your 10 year future. Take your massive vision and break it down in to 10 year goal, a 5 year goal, a 1 year goals, a 90 day goal, then in weekly goals and daily to do’s. Systematize this. Refer back to the grander goals often.
Get control of your finances and spending. Figure out what kind of money you need and for what, and then start tracking your spending (Mint or YNAB), then start lowering and managing your expenses, and investing your money properly.
Get in control of your motivation and energy. Learn your chronotype. Learn how foods, exercise, sleep, and supplements effect your energy. Learn what productivity strategies work for you. Learn how to Jujustu yourself in to wanting to do the important things, rather than forcing yourself to do them through shame and bullying (A recipe for procrastination and feeling constantly drained).
Conquer the parts of your personality getting in your way. Perhaps you are terrified of being assertive but your mission requires you to be good at sales. Or perhaps you are a night owl but your mission requires you to wake up early. Whatever it is, now that you have a reason, and you have converted most of your weaknesses in to strengths, you must start “cutting the fat” of the ones that aren’t salvageable.
Optimize the people in your life. Look that your friends, family, peers. Who inspires and cultivates you? Who will support your grand vision and help you along it? How can you spend more time with them? How can you get more people like them? Who drags you down and drains your energy? How can you reorient these relationship to make them positive or, if worst comes to worse, remove them from your life?
Doing all these things will be a lot of work for sure. But you have a long road ahead of you regardless.
Following your current path may be slightly easier for some.
But the alternative path will be a worth lot more worth it for all.
Do you want to live a life that actually means something to you? Do you want to stop spending your days miserable and anxious and your nights feeling hollowed out trying to escaping from it? Do you want to make massive impact on the world solving a problem only you can save? Do you want to make a bunch of money doing something you actually love with a bunch of energy left over for other things you love?
I cant make that choice for you. But I can help you get there once you have.